Album Review: Slowly Slowly – Race Car Blues
For Ben Stewart, the main inspiration for Slowly Slowly’s third full-length was the frontman looking back at the 18 months that preceded its writing. A particularly turbulent time in Ben’s life, he channelled the resultant self-reflection into these 12 angst-ridden songs. The result is an album of heart-on-sleeve laments that merge acoustic-ish contemplation with cathartic pop-punk outbursts.
It’s an effective formula, and songs like 19, Safety Switch and Michael Angelo are powerfully earnest snapshots of Ben’s experiences, as well as his insecurities about his talents as a songwriter. He needn’t worry. As album highlight Suicidal Evangelist demonstrates, he’s particularly adept at writing engaging heart-wrenchers. What’s more, Slowly Slowly are dab hands at catchy choruses that serve their heavy themes wrapped up in something more digestible.
There’s the occasional clunky lyric, and the heavy breathing at the end of the title-track is a little affected and overdone, but this is still a perfectly solid album of penetrating emotional insight.
Watch twenty one pilots’ incredibly old-school lyric video for Level Of Concern.
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